Reflections, Stage Time & Juice, May 21 2016

Check out videos and photos from May 21 on our Facebook page.
The title of our May 21 Stage Time and Juice: Mum’s the Word! is a play on the themes of Mother’s Day and spring. What could be more spring-like than to celebrate life from the perspective of insects? The Juicers were treated to bouncing grasshoppers, whiny bees, supercilious water striders, tragic mayflies, and self-important cicadas, as interpreted through the poems of Paul Fleischman. The poems, read by two readers at once, sometimes in synchrony, sometimes not, demonstrated how poetry can sometimes be performed as a form of music.

Sue DeSimone, on the other hand, seemed to be bugged by something else, leading the Juicers in a plea for ice cream. Her guitar accompanist, Jimmy, seems to have been infected with her melancholy, because he broke into a bit of blues himself after her song was done.

Devry presented a soliloquy from Henry the V while waving around a sword…um…bamboo stick. Two young sisters performed a violin and cello duet from the Japanese animated film “Kiki’s Delivery Service.” One young man sang a song named “Seven”, deploring his lost youth at the ripe old age of nine, and then finished with a keyboard rendition of “Chopsticks” with his mother. His brother did a couple of magic tricks. A pair of siblings read from their favorite story books, one talking about what mommies do and the other describing the sentimental value of a scarf. Finally, two little monkeys demonstrated what it means to be on a roll.

And that’s what you missed at Stage Time and Juice!

Carol Yao

Reflections, Aside 13, April 30 2016

Aside 13 April 30 2016

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Aside 13 at the Red Room was a three hour journey along the paths of 5 individual and group performers- each with their own story of adventure and wonder to share. The evening opened with words from Red Room’s co-founder, Ping Chu. Ping encouraged the audience to reflect on the importance of the people we meet throughout or travels. “At Red Room,” he said, “it takes only a minute to meet someone, but a lifetime to forget them.” While the day-to-day interactions we have with our friends and colleagues may seem trivial in the moment, Ping reminds us that life is a collection of a multitude of moments, each shaping our experiences, like stones lying in the middle of a narrow stream.

The evening flowed onward to the first performer, Tina Ma. Tina spun a tale of blazing one’s own future and identity through facing different challenges. Her story-song used the personification of animals to symbolize the the wise lessons we can learn from nature. She urged the audience to meditate on the importance of emotion and kindness in our actions, asking “When we act, do we use all four chambers of our heart?” Tina’s question made us wonder: are we full hearted in our interactions and experiences, or do we simply give half of ourselves? Her performance asserted that in order to learn, love, and give to the world, we have to use all four chambers of the heart and feel love flowing through all aspects of our being.

As if mirroring the heart beat pumping blood and life throughout us all, Mia Hsieh used her steel drum to play a song that strikingly embodied the light-hearted nature of travel. In contrast, her vocal tones expressed a yearning for something lost along the way. After all, while Emerson emphasized the whimsy of weaving one’s own trail, he also posited that ” Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Mia’s song led the listener to believe that perhaps the singing traveller had neglected to hold fast to “the beautiful,” mistakenly confusing the painful lessons of growth with regret and flaw- forgetting that experiences mould us and therefore beautify the paths on which we walk.

Sue de Simone candidly told the audience about walking her own beautiful journey through growth. She began with a rock song based on the adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” telling the audience of how a benign brain tumor lead to a series of addictions from cigarettes to alcohol, from alcohol to cigarettes and from cigarettes to chocolate. While the story was harrowing, Sue used humor to draw attention to her current reality- a successful performer, healthy and full of life.

Rocking us back to the past, Ruth Giordano and the Red Room Radio Redux crew shared an excerpt from their upcoming show, “Treasure Island.” The connection to the evening’s theme is clear- a journey across the sea to find an elusive prize. Although “Treasure Island” may be a classic, the excerpt left the audience wondering how the story would end.

As if on cue, the night came to a hopeful close with Scott Prairie and Mia Hsieh’s collaboration on a series of songs. The final song in their set reminded the audience that, “it’s going to be ok.” With this upbeat and energetic close, the audience rose back to life, bustling hurriedly to catch old friends before heading home and to embrace new friends will a full heart.

Kristin S. is new to Taipei and is excited to volunteer at the Red Room as a rookie. In her free time she enjoys reading psychological thrillers, exploring new cities, and yoga.

Interview with Brendon Chen

Painting, singing and dancing are some of the oldest forms of human expression. While each of them can be viewed through an academic lens, only two are considered entertainment in Taiwanese society according to Brendon Chen, founder of the Escape Artist. “Nowadays, in modern society, we still do singing and dancing as entertainment, but most of the people [have forgotten] that painting is fun,” he told me over a cup of coffee. Chen believes he found the solution to this dilemma when he opened the Escape Artist.

The Escape Artist’s slogan “The Art of Paintertainment” is a pithy summary of Chen’s long term vision of reintroducing painting as less an esoteric practice and more a form of every day entertainment. Teaching visitors and customers goes against the Escape Artist philosophy—this isn’t a space where one pays for tutelage, rather it is a space for amateurs and experts to gather with their friends to connect with others, and themselves, through art. To that end, the studio includes a place in the back, filled with rustic benches where friends can gather and drink coffee while their paintings dry.

Chen found that people who painted without pressure or critique, who painted with those whom they felt comfortable around, they would able to realize their own creativity. Too many people deny their own creativity because they view artistry beyond their grasp, but allowing them to come and splash any color they wish on a canvas teaches them that creativity is inborn. Moreover, the creativity that comes from this painting is more than art, more than even entertainment; it is a way to communicate with the self.

It’s unsurprising that someone who seeks to promote such a vision would connect with Red Room. After being introduced to Red Room by co-founder Ping Chu, Chen has continued to attend and support Red Room events, speaking at Red Room’s Aside in 2013 and sponsoring canvases, easels and paint for Red Room’s annual live art events. To Chen, Red Room and the Escape Artist hold similar dreams of people truly expressing and understanding themselves and each other. Both the Escape Artist and Red Room allow people to “enjoy some wine, the company of a friend, and expressing [themselves]” and he hopes more people will find enjoyment in these simple pleasures as the Escape Artist and Red Room become more prevalent.

To learn more about the Escape Artist, and their connection with Red Room, check out the interview below.

What is the philosophy behind the Escape Artist?

We believe that painting is one of the oldest, and most important, forms of entertainment for human beings. Nowadays in modern society, we still sing and dance as entertainment but most people [have forgotten] that painting is fun. They view painting as an academic thing, especially in Taiwan. People here don’t go to museums or galleries to view paintings. They think it has nothing to do with their lives.

We started the Escape Artist not as an art space but as an entertainment place. Just like we go to KTV to sing, we go to night clubs to dance, we come here to paint.

Long term the reason we started the Escape Artist is we want more people to get to know themselves, so they will choose something they like and not something the media tells them they should like.

Painting is very special. It’s a unique form of expression because it’s the only one where you can receive [what you create]. It’s a self-communication process: you get to know yourself better through painting because you can see what you create.
Through painting people will feel more comfortable about themselves; then they will feel more comfortable with their surroundings, too. It’s very important that the people are willing to step out first.

If more people experience painting, I’m sure they’ll appreciate art more. Since art is part of their life there is a bigger change they will go to galleries to enjoy looking at paintings, buy paintings or they might actually create a painting.

I think in a sense you sort of stepped out to start this business. What was that process like and was there a moment when you knew it would work?

I always had faith that it was going to work, but I have to admit that it was harder than I thought it would be, much, much harder.

I still remember the night before all the investors started wiring the money into the account. It was the first time I couldn’t sleep in my life. Before the Escape Artist, I didn’t have any staff or any investors to report to, so it was really a lot of pressure.

In the end, I decided I still wanted to do it. I always had faith it was going to work.

How did you come up with this idea? What was it that sparked your inspiration?

I studied jewelry design in Milan and I was a musical actor so when I came to Taiwan people always introduced me as their artsy, creative friend. I would say “You’re creative, too”. They would say “Trust me I am not.” They have no confidence in their creativity, but arguing with someone whether they are creative or not is like arguing whether they are a ghosts or God. They won’t believe it unless they experience it.

So my ex-girlfriend and I started to seek out a way for them to experience this. We did some research [on painting] and realized it’s entertaining, it’s fun and it’s relaxing.

It’s kind of a social activity because, while you’re waiting for the paint to dry, you get to talk to people and when you’re painting a lot of ideas may come up.
If you’re cooking, if it’s not delicious then it’s not delicious. If you’re making pottery, if it leaks then it leaks. If you’re gardening then the plant might die. In the end no one can fail at painting. Everyone has a different style, no one is better than anyone else.

Is it, to an extent, a cultural thing in Taiwan, this lack of confidence in creativity or this assumption that you have to be trained to be creative? Did you open this, in a sense, to shift the culture? Have you seen any sort of change since you’ve opened this business and if so how?

More than eighty percent of the people who come here the first time don’t believe they can paint. That’s also why most of our customers have been brought by people who’ve already been here.

In Chinese we have this saying “I don’t have an artistic cell in my body”, but the truth is every cell of human beings is artistic. It’s in our genes, so there’s no way anyone is not artistic. Once they start painting they realize that.
There was a girl who came with three of her friends that didn’t believe she could paint, so she insisted on not painting. She sat [at the table], drank coffee and watched them. After two and a half hours– the other three girls had been laughing and splashing paint on each other– she somehow decided she wanted to paint. The other three girls were like “We’re almost done, we’re about to leave.” That girl was like “I don’t care, I want to paint.” So then it was her friends sitting at the table and drinking coffee. After two hours the girl started to scream “I can’t believe I painted this! There’s no way this is my painting. I painted this!” She kept walking away from the painting because she couldn’t believe it. Eventually I had to stop her from falling down the stairs. We don’t teach them here so she knew one hundred that the painting was created by her.

This kind of magic happens every day. I guess that’s the effect we want.

You don’t teach here. Is that explicitly against your philosophy?

The thing is that if someone made a painting and there’s a mountain and a grass field and a sky. Maybe they think the sky is a little bit empty so they ask me “Do you think I should add something to the sky?”. If I say yes then there are two results. First, they like the result and will think “Brendon is the master. He told me to do this and the picture is awesome” so it’s my credit, not theirs.
If they don’t like the result they’ll think “Oh, even though Brendon helped me, I still can’t do it.” When someone has no confidence that’s what they will do. No matter what they still think they can’t do it, but if I don’t have any influence on their painting, they will know one hundred percent it’s from them.
The most important part is we want them to know one hundred percent that everything is from their heart, that they can’t deny that’s their creativity.
Also, if it’s your first time you won’t know your style. If I teach you, you’ll copy my style and probably you will delay the process of finding your own for many years.

You announced at the RR that you were going to open this business?

Yes, when we started it we told them it would happen in the next week

You also spoke at an Aside in 2013.

Yes, we spoke about creativity.

How did you first get involved with the RR? What drew you to it?

The Escape Artist is more a social responsibility for me. I can’t say it’s not a business, it has to be a business in order to keep itself sustainable, but our goal is to have the most influence while making money not making money while having some influence.

We knew Ping Chu [the co-founder of Red Room] for many years. We consulted Ping because he’s a successful businessman and he has a business a good purpose, and that’s what we want to do. So Ping asked us to share it at Red Room and that’s how we go to know Red Room.

Now, when there’s something we can do to help Red Room we try help Red Room too.

After that initial introduction what is it about the RR that made you want to continue the partnership? What is it that you like about the RR?

I like to read a lot and, especially when I’m speaking in Mandarin, in a lot of people’s minds I’m a dreamer. I’m idealistic. People will say “people don’t talk like this anymore”, [but they do at Red Room].

One thing I like about red room is that it encourages people to use poetry. They read poems, they write poems. Around that they have singing, literature and sharing.

After sharing poems and literature and song, Red Room began to involve more art—like at Artists Break the Mold. Of course it has something to do with painting, so we got involved.

Stage Time & Wine’s slogan encourages people to listen to others. When someone is sharing you don’t talk about your thing, you listen to what he’s about to share. That’s also something I think is very important nowadays.

We take different approaches to expose as many people to this kind of atmosphere that’s not so realistic or capitalistic. Not just talk about stuff but also talk about what’s inside of you, what you want to say. It’s not about performance, but about expression. Red Room and the Escape Artist encourage people not to meet someone’s expectations—not their boss, not their frienda, not society’s– but to explore who they are and what they like. That’s why we’ve always worked together.

Is there a memory you have of attending or a time when EA and RR collaborated that really stands out?

Actually the first time I went to Red Room, Manav read a poem he wrote. Itgave me tons of goosebumps. That was the first time I’d heard someone reading a poem to me, usually because I’m the only one who reads poems among my friends, but reading a poem from a book is very different from someone reading it to you. You could tell Manav liked poetry when he read it. I guess it makes a difference, you can feel that he’s passionate about writing and literature.

I don’t say that because he’s one of the leaders of Red Room. The first time I went to Red Room I didn’t know who he was.

I think that’s the kind of influence Red Room can have on a lot of people. Of course I know a lot of people might not feel it because they might not be ready to do it but eventually they’ll join this kind of event more.

That’s why I think Artist Break The Mold and [the upcoming] Artist Bridge The Gap is the kind of big event that can influence more people, just in one day! That might draw other people to RED Room and I think it will change their lives.

Leah List is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Political Science and International Studies program. She is an aspiring writer, researcher, human rights advocate and a believer in the importance of storytelling. She currently resides in Tianmu. In her free time, she can be found at the Red Room where she volunteers.

ABTG4: Pine Napat

napat-photo-1Napat Inkapairoj is a visual artist and a lifetime animal lover. Originally from Bangkok.
(review more comprehensive selection of my work please visit facebook page : PINE NAPAT)

Group Exhibitions
2009 : Annual Drawing Exhibition, Chulalongkorn University
2010 : “wi tee tassana” Nan National museum, Nan, Thailand
2012 : “Visual Infinite Exhibition” University Museum Building, Chulalongkorn University
2012 : “Inside Chanburi Exhibition” University Museum Building, Chulalongkorn University
013 : “Halo Art Thesis Exhibition”, Chamjuree Art gallery

Solo Exhibitions
2014 : “I do as I please” Sudrit art gallery, Nan, Thailand. Charity project for animals shelter in need.
2014 : “Cats” Baan Prabat gallery, Saraburi, Thailand. Charity for animals shelter in need.
Education 2013 Faculty of Fine and Applieds art Chulalongkorn University, Major in painting
2013 Faculty of Fine and Applieds art Chulalongkorn University, Major in painting.
Now studying in International Master program of Cultural and Creative Industries, Taipei University of the Arts (臺北藝術⼤大)


ABTG4: FeiFain Wang


FeiFainFeiFain Wang is an artist based in Taipei. In addition to creating art and illustrations, FeiFain does drag shows, performances and theater.


ABTG4: Pragya Borar

ABTG4: Charles Haines

charles 2

Charles Haines is a Canadian born sculptor, painter, printmaker and poet who has lived in Taiwan since 2001 and calls Taiwan his home. For over twenty years he has had a passion for painting crows. No matter where he travels people have strong feelings about crows. He likes that. If you ask him he will tell you the he was a crow in a former life and that he has dreams of flying and can still feel the air under his wings.


ABTG4: Roma Mehta

2 June 2016, Maybe Alien @ the Red Room

Dan and Veronica PosterMaybe Alien @ the Red Room

Date 日期:June 2nd, Thursday
Doors Open 入場:6:15PM
Performance 表演開始:6:30PM-9:30PM
Your Patronage 支持費:300NT (Includes one drink 包含一杯飲料)

From time to time, Red Room invites live bands to serenade the ears and souls of our music loving friends.


Dan has been playing and performing for over fifteen years and has lived
in Taiwan since August 2014. He teaches Drama and English literature in
Yangmingshan and as well as teaching, he enjoys singing and playing music
live, dancing salsa and writing. He comes from an Irish family but has
lived most of his life in York in England.
The songs that he writes are mainly about people; our behaviours, failings
and beauty. He likes to write and sing about what drives us towards our
goals, whatever they may be.
He’s currently in the process of recording his first album in Taiwan with

Veronica and Dan met through a mutual friend. Dan was in search of a
cellist who was slightly weird (Chi Guàiyì de rén) and he found Veronica.
Veronica’s ability to create little riffs of magic in her cello playing
adds a wanted sadness to the music they create together.
Veronica has played in more ‘ROCK’ bands before –

and so has Dan –
But both have decided to take a break from all of the loud noise and
create a softer, more harmonious sound for their audiences.
Their overall message is to be true to yourself – Even if it looks ugly.
There is truth in it. There is poetry in it.

Veronica is not of woman born. Veronica spawns from a creature that our
kind have never encountered.
Veronica is ‘Alien’. The Veronica you see before you has learnt to play
the cello and is learning human ways as quickly as possible.
Veronica is neither ‘He’ nor ‘She’. Veronica prefers to just be ‘Alien’.

Dan is a singer who tries to play guitar. He also tries to sing. Sometimes
it works out OK. Sometimes not.
Dan is a non-committal kind of person whose often use of the term ‘Maybe’
is the reason behind the band’s name.
Dan, along with Alien, play music to depress, anaesthetise, sedate and
lead their followers into a state of ‘Requiem for a Dream’ on eternal


How to find us:

Taiwan Air Force Base (TAF) 空軍總部 「圖書館」LIBRARY, 2F
No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd, Taipei (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.)

Our entrance is located on the intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd. (TAF side entrance). After passing the gate, keep marching forward and you’ll see a white building to your left called Library. Make your way to the second floor via the outer staircase on the side.
Reservations required 須留定位.


The Red Room is an ever-expanding community, exploring and extending the boundaries between audience and performer; a not-for-profit platform for events developing a culture of learning to listen to each other, what is around us, and our selves.

29 May 2016, Artists Bridge the Gap IV

Red Room is hosting Artists Bridge the Gap IV ( ABTG IV ), a one-of-a-kind event, on May 29th, 2016. ABTG IV is the fourth instalment of Red Room’s all-day live art event!
This year, Red Room will bring together live art, music, and theatre from across the island for the purpose of bridging gaps between international communities and creating opportunities for those in need.

Visit the ABTG4 page for updates and more information.


  • Live Music featuring a playlist curated by our beneficiaries in Germany
  • Live Art created the day of the event by twenty amazing painters.
  • Live Theatre with performances based on true stories
  • Interactive Corner where attendees can decorate their own postcards and film videos to send to the amazing NGOs in Germany!
  • Merchandise Table which features T-shirts designed by a community member and poster prints with art created by artists from the event!
  • Food and Drink with specially concocted drinks for the event!

『 Schedule 』『 活動日程 』

11AM Artists begin painting 現場繪畫
1PM – 1:45PM Event Introduction/Video Screening 活動介紹 / 影片播放
3PM – 4PM: All’s Well Theatre shares true stories 滿月劇團分享 真實 故事
5:30PM – 8:00PM Live Music Ensembles 現場音樂表演
8:30PM Art Auction begins 現場競標當天創作的藝術品
10PM Closing 活動結束

早鳥票 400NT:
園遊券500元 (12歲以下300元)
Presale on Accupass: 400NT
Adult 500NT / Under 12 300NT
Includes Food or Beverage
(A portion of ticket sales goes to charity)
Address: Taiwan Air Force Innovation Base
Jianguo South Road Section 1 No 177

More information on this page

Who It’s Helping:

We’re partnering with Queer Refugees Network Leipzig (QueeRNL) and RosaLinde Leipzig e.V . to support LGBT refugees in Germany.*

Check out the event on Facebook for more updates!